Do you suffer from Glossophobia? (Fear Of Public Speaking)


Earlier on in my broadcasting career I was asked to speak at the famous Edinburgh TV festival in Scotland about youth television!  At the time, I was head of programmes for a ‘Yoof’ TV Channel called Rapture TV.  We used to go live in Ibiza and show hours of snowboarding – all very cool.  But the one thing that wasn’t cool at the time was my speech at the conference!

Arrhh, I am embarrassed to say, I sucked! 

It didn’t realise it at the time, but I suffered from Glossophobia!    The fear of public speaking.

Apparently 75% of us suffer from this type of anxiety – which has devastating side effects;

Do these symptoms sound familiar?;

  • increased heart rate
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased perspiration
  • increased oxygen intake
  • stiffening of neck/upper back muscles
  • dry mouth
  • a hamster wheel of negative thoughts running obsessively in your head

Oh yes, I also recall having an out of body experience as I judged myself from above!  It was a bit of a horror show.

Have you ever felt like that?  Many of my clients in business have described similar side effects as well as shaking, coming out in a rash and total brain freeze!

There’s good news!

Since then I have not only helped thousands of speakers, BBC presenters, politicians and business leaders from global organisations (banks, law firms and Deloitte) nail their speeches despite their fear of public speaking, I have also mastered the art of speaking to a large audience myself!  

Can you believe standing on a stage in front of 100s of people has become my comfort zone?  It could be yours!

It’s literally a game changer for you and your business if you can learn to speak in front of a large audience.  

“Esther has been a game changer for me personally and for my status in the market, which will lead to more business for the bank. Esther is brilliant and fun to work with. I would not hesitate in recommending her to anyone”

Senior leader, Barclays Bank

Now it’s your turn to combat the fear!

Here are 3 of my top tips to help your glossophobia...(And I have so many more!)

Tip 1 – Breathe

“Anxiety is the same physiological reaction as excitement, but without breathing” – Janan Kubba, Psychotherapist and coach.

Breathe out for 8 beats very slowly “blow out the candle” – then breathe in for 5 beats and “smell the roses”.  Repeat 3x and you’ll find your heart rate slows down.  This will stop the blind panic.

Tip 2 – Rehearse

“You reduce nerves by 73% if you practice” – Graham Davies – Author of The Presentation Coach.

Yes, it's obvious you need to practice, but how many times have you actually forced yourself to do a proper dress rehearsal before a public speaking engagement?

Just make sure you have given yourself enough time to prepare and run through the full presentation/speech at least twice out loud with the clothes you’re going to wear. I always go one step further and I film myself with my little camera and watch it back, yuk!  

Yes, it's excruciating but I learn from my mistakes and pick out the weak points.  I do praise myself on the good bits but it’s hard.  It does reduce your nerves, believe me, it does.  You’ll feel a lot more confident about your material too.

Tip 3 - Laugh

A low laugh from deep down in your stomach will help, just before you perform.  Yes, you may feel a bit funny but go to the loo if you need privacy.  Just 1 minute of this fun warm-up exercise will seriously help you to;

  • smile just before you go on
  • relax all your vocal apparatus (that has tensed up)
  • look relaxed, warm and ‘effortlessly’ confident

Eyes and teeth!

You can do it– and if you need help contact us



Esther Stanhope